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PFAS - Perfluorinated Compounds Sampling Program

Perfluorinated Compounds Sampling Program


DoD Policy for Testing for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

DoD is ensuring a consistent approach to continued testing of on-base drinking water across DoD so that no one on-base is exposed to PFOS or PFOA above 70ppt in drinking water. The Department first issued policy in March 2020, and updated it July 11, 2023, for continued periodic testing of DoD-operated drinking water systems for certain PFAS, including PFOS and PFOA. The Military Departments will resample water systems periodically based on these results. For consistency across the nation, the Department also issued a policy for monitoring drinking water at installations where DoD purchases drinking water in July 2020.


Understanding PFAS

PFAS substances are man-made chemicals persistent in the environment that are not absorbed well in soil and could travel to groundwater.  PFAS substances have been used since the 1950s in a variety of products and substances because of their stain and water repellant properties; the most common historical Navy use of the substances has been in Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF), a fire extinguishing agent used on our installations.    At this time PFAS substances are considered emerging contaminants for which there are no Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulatory standards.  The EPA is working to improve its understanding of PFAS to determine if safe drinking water regulatory limits are needed.  The Navy is following the EPA’s guideline for unregulated contaminate monitoring, including only using laboratories approved by EPA to perform the PFAS analysis.

To provide Americans, including the most sensitive populations, with a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure to Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)from drinking water, EPA issued a lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion. Health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory, but rather provide information to state agencies and public health officials which further inform actions that should be taken to reduce exposure.  The EPA is currently studying PFAS to determine if national regulation is needed; however some states have begun to regulate individual PFAS compounds.


Chronology of Navy Policy

In 2014, the ASN (EI&E) issued a policy that required on-base drinking water sampling for PFOA and PFOS, for installations where groundwater was used as drinking water and PFAS could have been released nearby.

In June 2016, both Secretary of Defense and the ASN (EI&E) issued additional policies that required all Navy installations not previously tested under the 2014 policy or the EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) to test drinking water regardless of the water source (installation or municipal) and regardless of proximity to a potential/known PFAS release to the environment.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Department of Defense PFAS testing and response goes beyond EPA Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. The Navy is working with local and state environmental and health agencies the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) as we move forward with testing of drinking water.


PFCs General Information and Facts

PFAS Results Reporting and Notification

Additional information can be found:
ASD(EI&E) website: ASD(EI&E) - Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) (

EPA website:

EPA website:

ATSDR website:

U.S. Navy website:

U.S. Navy website:


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